Juab (6-4) at Stansbury (8-1)
3A state tournament first round
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: Stansbury by 27
All-time series: First meeting
Coach vs. coach: Juab's Mike Bowring and Stansbury's Clint Christiansen tied 1-1. Christiansen won at South Sevier in 1998, and Bowring won at Monticello in 1999.
Juab head coach Mike Bowring described Stansbury in four words: "Big, physical, fast, and explosive."
Basically, they're good.
The Wasps and Stallions are pitted against each other in the first round of the 3A state playoffs. Stansbury, in its first year in the 3A ranks after moving from 4A, enters the game with an 8-1 record and is the Region 11 champion. Juab placed fourth in Region 12 with a 6-4 mark.
Stansbury brings a very prolific option attack thanks to quarterback Chase Christiansen. So far this season, Chase is averaging over seven yards per carry with 128 rushes for 1,003 yards and 17 touchdowns. "He's a threat anytime he has the ball in his hands," says Stansbury head coach Clint Christiansen.
A big part of Stansbury's success besides its playmaking QB is that the Stallions are deep and talented across the board. Another part of their success is overall team speed.
"People don't realize how fast we are until they play us," added Coach Christiansen.
The Stallions also boast a stout, play-making defense. Junior linebacker Colton May leads the team with 87 tackles. Senior defensive lineman Jeremy Cafe has also made life hard on plenty of QBs, as he recorded 9.5 sacks so far this season. Coach Christiansen also added that defensive back and running back Dacota Case is "a playmaker on both sides of the ball."
Bowring says that Juab has had an "on and off" season so far. The Wasps started off hot, winning four of five, but stumbled down the stretch a little bit, dropping three of their last five games.
"We're pretty happy with what these kids have done," claimed Bowring. "I'm proud of them."
Juab is overmatched physically but that does not mean the Wasps are going to lie down.
"We'll play hard," said Bowring. "We need to keep their offense off the field and try to match their physicality."
The Wasps have been able to effectively move the ball through the air with senior quarterback Spencer McPhearson. Mcphearson has put up some impressive numbers, going 135-for-257 for 1,778 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Receiver Curtis Orme has been a favorite target of McPhearson, catching 28 passes and seven touchdown receptions. Another dangerous receiver the Stallions will have to deal with is Kyler Ockey, who has 31 receptions for a total of 349 yards and four TDs.
Juab's defense has been a strong point. Linebacker Cole Wright is a master at causing havoc in the backfield with 10 sacks. Another linebacker who will look to stifle Stansbury's option attack is Kelton Brough, who will enter the game with a team-high 63 tackles.
Juab's success will heavily depend on Wright and Brough's ability to get to Christiansen before he has a chance to create.
Both teams are fired up for a chance to compete in the playoffs and would probably unanimously agree with Coach Christiansen when he said that, "Friday night can't come fast enough."
Juab statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 22.6 ppg
Scoring defense: 22.9 ppg
Passing leader: Spencer McPhearson (135-257, 52.5%, 1,778 yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs)
Receiving leaders: Curtis Orme (28 receptions, 452 yards, 7 TDs), Kyler Ockey (31 receptoins, 349 yards, 4 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Kelton Brough (63 total tackles), Trevor Fowkes (55 total tackles)
Sacks leaders: Cole Wright (10 sacks), Jake Nielson (5 sacks)
Interceptions leaders: Spencer McPhearson (4 interceptions), Kaden Kelson (3 interceptions)
Stansbury statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 25.2 ppg
Scoring defense: 9.8 ppg
Passing leader: Chase Christiansen (128 carries, 1,003 yards, 17 TDs), Ky Bender (51 carries, 281 yards, 1 TD)
Rushing leaders: Chase Christiansen (34-78, 43.6%, 443 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs)
Receiving leaders: Tyson Haddon (9 receptions, 108 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles leaders: Colton May (87 total tackles), Jackson Clausing (59 total tackles)
Sacks leaders: Jeremy Cafe (9.5 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Dacota Case, Austin Rawls (4 interceptions)